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Will US Interfere with China’s Plans in Africa?

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22.01.2019

For many years now China has been actively expanding its economic presence in Africa. Accomplishments of the “Celestial Kingdom” are truly impressive. Currently, China is one of Africa’s biggest trading partners. More than a thousand Chinese companies have operations on the continent, and loans and investments that Africa receives from the PRC amount to dozens of billions of US dollars.

China is actively exploiting African resources by taking vast quantities of hydrocarbon-based fuels, timber and agricultural products out of the continent, and by building numerous plants with the help of cheap African labor. In addition, China is constructing roads and railways, which traverse the entire continent, as well as ports. This is why Africa is becoming not only an end market for various goods and a supplier of resources but also a convenient transit location on route to North and South America.

A key aim of PRC’s official policy, reiterated by its leadership, is for China to consolidate its economic influence in Africa. There have been trade and political ties between China and African countries since the middle of the 20th century. However, at that time the PRC had to compete with the USSR, Europe and the United States. However, Europe’s influence in Africa has weaken as decolonization continued, while the USSR collapsed in 1991, and its successor, the Russian Federation, did not really concern itself with Africa because of its own economic woes. After the breakup of the Soviet Union and the end of the Cold War, the US became less involved on the continent, and instead focused its efforts in the Middle East. Vast opportunities opened up for China at that time, and the nation began to foster economic cooperation with all the African countries.

In 2000, Beijing hosted the first conference of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC), which was attended by PRC’s President at the time, Jiang Zemin, and representatives of more than 40 other nations and 17 global organizations, such as the Organisation of African Unity (OAU). Since then, FOCAC has staged seven high-profile meetings, including three large-scale summits. The forum has become an important platform used to discuss future plans and to chart the course of cooperation between China and Africa.

From 2000 to 2018, trade turnover between the PRC and African nations rose from $10 billion to more than $200 billion.

In 2013, China launched its global........

© New Eastern Outlook